Ray Lewis: Ravens LB Refuses to Retire Quietly in Huge 17-Tackle Performance

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Ray Lewis: Ravens LB Refuses to Retire Quietly in Huge 17-Tackle Performance
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Ray Lewis refused to go quietly into the night with a dramatic and inspirational 17-tackle performance in the Baltimore Ravens’ surprise playoff win over the Denver Broncos in Denver.

That’s one tackle for each illustrious season in his very impressive career.

Lewis was emotional following the game—and with good reason.

“Nobody gave us a shot. Nobody! But you still gotta play the games,” Lewis said in a post-game interview (via ESPN).

His impending retirement will have to wait until after the AFC Championship Game next week or even later. If the Ravens win Lewis will return to sacred ground, garnering himself a second chance at a Super Bowl ring before he retires.

Lewis’ efforts helped keep the Ravens in the game down the stretch, and the team delivered. Joe Flacco found Jacoby Jones on a 70-yard bomb to even the score with just 31 seconds left to play.

The future Hall of Fame LB wasn’t out there physically with the offense, but his spirit definitely was.

That spirit has helped invigorate a Ravens team that looked like it was slipping out of relevancy down the stretch. They dropped four of their last five games.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

That’s including a 34-17 drubbing by the Broncos at M&T Bank Stadium in Week 15.

What a difference a few weeks has made for the Ravens team. They were without Lewis when they dropped that Week 15 home game to Denver.

A matter of weeks later tells a totally different story.

Lewis’ emotion sparked a resurgence that started in their dominant Wild Card Round win over the Indianapolis Colts.

The attitude from that win helped them outduel one of the best QBs in the NFL. Peyton Manning, another future Hall of Famer, was on a streak only he could perpetuate.

His Broncos team won its previous 11 games and was soaring high heading into their divisional-round matchup with the Ravens.

Like Lewis said, no one was giving the Ravens a shot. Oddsmakers had the home team as 10-point favorites (via Bovada).

To quote the trusty veteran, again: “…you still gotta play the games.”

 

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